Boy group Trendz debuted earlier this year with TNT (Truth&Trust), a song I can barely recall. Their first mini album didn’t instill much confidence, largely forgoing memorable melodies for blustering attitude. On follow-up Who (吼), the guys have bolstered the intensity but still struggle to find a song that lives up to that energy.
Who continues to build upon this year’s lackluster run of boy group singles. But, it has some interesting ideas. The bass-heavy intro recalls H.O.T’s classic Warrior’s Descendent, while the climactic drum and bass elements inject a more unique perspective. There are even some 90’s hip-hop synths sprinkled throughout the track. Who’s instrumental palette draws from so many tried-and-true nostalgic elements that it’s impossible to hate. When searing guitar arrives during the chorus, I just want to turn down the guys’ voices and revel in the drama of the production.
Here’s the problem: Trendz’s producers aren’t able to find an equally strong song to place over this dynamic instrumental. The K-pop industry is severely lacking in great topliners. It’s as if melody has become the least important aspect in any comeback. I mean, shouting can be fun. Many classic 90’s idol groups built an entire career on it. But, it has to be catchy and well-structured to work. Who’s hook benefits greatly from the strong instrumental prodding it along, but it misses the opportunity to land a knockout punch. I desperately want to mash-up the track with a better series of hooks. There’s such squandered potential here!